cloudy clock pictureSpace-Time Continuum - a thesis

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Purpose of this Thesis


Curvature of Space-Time


Time Travel

Suggested Time Travel Experiment


The problem of working out the fourth dimension (space-time) is that we have no reference point(s) and coordinate structure(s) for it. True navigation on the surface of the Earth was not possible until a coordinate system was worked out. However, to get started, this can be very simple (as in early attempts at navigation). For example, in early navigation, the reference point was where we were standing and the coordinates where relative to that point. This was adequate for the initial attempts at navigation, but is no longer adequate once you go beyond the horizon of the reference point. In early days, ships always stayed within sight of land. If they ever lost sight of land, the sailors were essentially lost - only able to find their way back by means of dead reckoning (the memory of Time, where T = a linear line). True global navigation was possible only when the following developed:

  1. The shape of the surface of the Earth was determined to approximate a sphere.
  2. A coordinate system was developed. The reference point for lines of longitude (X) was arbitrarily decided to be Greenwich, England, with increments arbitrarily set at degree, minute, and second intervals. The equator (a defined point, based on an imaginary line around the Earth, halfway between the geographical poles, where the surface of the planet is approximately parallel to the axis of rotation, with the assigned value of 0) became the reference point for lines of latitude (Y). However arbitrary these were, these coordinates enabled adequate navigation across the surface of the Earth. Later, an additional requirement of height (Z) became necessary. An arbitrary reference point of mean sea level was decided upon. Although the sea level does change, the mean is adequate for most navigation. Similarly, we do not need precision in our initial attempt to coordinate the fourth dimension. However, precision will be required, ultimately, in order to safely travel in time.

A coordinate system that might be used to get started is: Tx, Ty, Tz, X, Y, Z. This system appears to have some basis in String Theory.

We currently use arbitrary reference points for Tx. In western civilization, we use the Julian calendar, with the reference point being the so-called birth-of-Christ date of December 25, year 0. Although it is debatable as to accuracy of the named event, the otherwise usage of the date as the zero reference of the Julian calendar is acceptable (it's arbitrary, but fine as long as everyone agrees to it). The other calendars in usage (as the Chinese and the Jewish calendars) are perfectly acceptable as well (maybe even more so than the Julian calendar). A reference point needs to be made for Ty, which would be arbitrary. Then, we would need a Tz reference point. Any takers?

And, of course, the X, Y, Z could be our existing convention of longitude, latitude, and altitude reckoned from mean sea level.

For human beings, Tx is our linear perception of the passage of time. We ignore Ty and Tz, as we cannot perceive them directly. But, they exist nonetheless. Our passage through time can be equated to a balloon floating in the atmosphere. It always goes forward, no matter what real direction in reference to the Earth it is traveling.

Regardless, unless Tx, Ty, and Tz are entered into the coordinate system, X, Y, and Z are meaningless in the space-time continuum.

Unfortunately, Tx, Ty, Tz, X, Y, Z are a relative coordinate system. They may be minimally adequate to plot from point A to point B in space-time. But, for mapping of the dimension itself, absolute coordinates must be found. For our universe, the absolute coordinates might be derived from the instant of the initiation of the Big Bang, the moment of creation, or whatever other mechanism is discovered for the initiation of the current universe we occupy.

To navigate from point A to point B in space-time you will require not only the necessary coordinates of both points, but, you will also have to calculate the curvature of space-time between the two points.

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